Donald R. Foley passed peacefully on October 19, 2018 surrounded by his wife and children at his home in Jupiter, Florida at the age of 96. He was born October 8, 1922, the son of Mary Grace (née O’Neil) and Walter W. Foley of Jamaica Plain, MA.
Don was a proud graduate of Boston Latin School where he excelled in his studies of Latin, French and German and made many lifelong friends. He then went on to the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA following in his brothers’ footsteps and added yet another classical language to his resume, this time Greek. In 1943, he answered the nation’s call and was off to Midshipmen’s School in Chicago, IL where he was commissioned into the US Navy. Don was trained as a navigator, assigned to the USS Shelby and shipped out to the Pacific Ocean theatre. He resigned his commission after the war and exited the Navy with the rank of Lieutenant. Patriotism and service were values he instilled in his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Don married his wife Marie T. (née O’Brien) 70 years ago on Sept. 4, 1948. After living in Newton Centre, MA they settled in Rye, NY following his transfer to the New York office of Donahue Sales Corp. He spent 25 years raising his family in Rye and was a member of the Manursing Island Club, The Apawamis Club and Winged Foot. Don’s career encompassed numerous executive positions, first with Donahue Sales, next, assisting with the implementation and rollout of the New York State Lottery, then on to financial advertising with E.B. Wilson. Don also sat on the Boards of National Securities & Research and Smith Barney Mutual Funds. Those positions were some of his most fulfilling professionally. Don and Marie had one more move to make. They chose to retire to Jonathan’s Landing and joined JL Golf Club where old friendships were rekindled and new ones blossomed.
One of his greatest attributes was his love of people and what started out as simple business associations often grew into lasting friendships. Don was fiercely loyal, loving and steadfast as a friend. He was an avid sportsman, an accomplished racquets man and golfer. His avocations included the New York Times crossword and a voracious appetite for technology.
Above all was family. His love for his wife, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren was immeasurable.The man we knew as “Four Feathers”, was a caring and loving man. With the flash of his smile and twinkle in his Irish eyes, he could make you feel as if you were the only person in a filled room. He loved to be the center of attention, and was quick with a joke, a spectacular storyteller and family historian. Relationships were the essence of his life. In every social circle he’d come across, the title “Mayor” was invariably bestowed upon him. He never asked for it; it was given. He was first to console, congratulate or heap accolades on all those around him. He was chief cheerleader, the ear that always listened and the calm in your storm. His friendship was unconditional.
Don was predeceased by his parents, beloved brothers Walter and Eugene as well as his infant son Peter. He is survived by his wife Marie and their seven children, Sarah J. Foley (NYC), Joan Brennan (Patrick) of Merchantville, NJ , Marie T. Parsons (William) of Locust Valley, NY, Karen M. Freeman (Eric) of Jupiter, FL, Elizabeth C. Foley of Boston, MA and Old Greenwich, CT, Janet E. Foley of Denver, CO, Donald R. Foley, II (Lisa) of Darien, CT as well as his grandchildren Katharine Bradbury, Shane Brennan (Zohray), Patrick J. Brennan II (Kristen), Edward F. Brennan (Kate), Mary Beth Stiles (Jeff) , Brigid Austin (Andrew), Kevin G. Brennan (Ashley), Molly Woltjen (Thomas), Christopher O. Freeman, Tyler O. Foley, Sean M. Foley and Dillon C. Foley. He is also survived by 17 great grandchildren, Sarah Hoitsma; PJ III and Declan Brennan; Caroline, Madeleine, Siobhan and Jack Brennan; Liam and Owen Stiles; Rory and Brenna Austin; Summer and Asher Brennan; and, Payton, Margot, Jude and Sonny Woltjen.
There will be a Memorial Mass at St. Jude Catholic Church in Tequesta, FL Saturday November 17 at 10am. Interment will be private and he will be laid to rest at New Calvary Cemetery in Mattapan, MA. A funeral mass will be held at St. Ignatius of Loyola in Chestnut Hill, MA. at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, he’d really get a kick if you went out and bought a lottery ticket!
Seriously though, if so inclined, please consider a memorial donation to Shriners Hospitals for Children or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.